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K-State Today

May 10, 2024

Woods named director of A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication

Submitted by Marcia Locke

Photo of Heather Woods

Heather Woods, associate professor in the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named director of the school after serving as interim director since November 2023.

Woods joined Kansas State University's department of communication studies in 2017 and helped facilitate its recent merger with the A.Q. Miller school. She previously served as associate director of graduate programs and research in both the school and the communication studies department.

"I am excited to have Dr. Woods serve as the director of the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication," said Chris Culbertson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "She is the right person to help lead the school successfully through its reaccreditation process coming up in two years and to continue to expand its undergraduate and graduate offerings, which have been very popular with students."

Woods' current research focuses on how people understand and adapt to emerging technology, including artificial intelligence, and she recently wrote a book on smart homes. Her research has been featured by the New York Times, Washington Post, Canadian Broadcast Corporation and WIRED. In 2019, her research on gender and AI was featured at the Global Forum on AI for Humanity in Paris, which served as the formal launch pad for global partnership and research in AI as part of the G7 summit.

Woods is committed to the public dissemination of scholarship. She has been invited to serve as expert advisor to not-for-profit, industry and nongovernmental organizations. She also was named the 2023 Outstanding Graduate Mentor in Master's Education by the National Communication Association.

Woods received her doctorate in communication studies with an emphasis on rhetoric and media and technology, as well as additional credentials in the digital humanities, in 2017 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her bachelor's degree from K-State in 2011.

While a K-State student, Woods was part of the intercollegiate policy debate team, served in Student Senate, and hosted a radio show on Wildcat 91.9. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, quilting and playing the drums.

"It is a pleasure and privilege to serve as director of the A.Q. Miller school," Woods said. "Our students, faculty and staff, community and industry partners, and alumni are committed to creating what's next in media and communication while honoring our distinguished past. I am inspired to see them living our land-grant mission daily."

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